Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Look Back & A Look Ahead

First thing's first: happy new year and THANK YOU! Thank you for following along in my creative adventures, whether we know one another in person or just online. I'm so lucky to have friends, fans and followers interested in what I do. Lofted Designs started out as a personal hobby eight years ago, and I am constantly amazed by and grateful for the number of people who enjoy my work.

Looking Back
2014 was a year of many milestones for this little jewelry company:
  • Lofted Designs surpassed the 700-sale mark on Etsy!
  • My work had more than 17,000 views on Etsy from all over the world (93 countries)!
  • I shipped more than 135 orders all over the US and the world – not a record-setting year, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. 
  • The fewest craft fairs ever – I only participated in three shows this year and none more than 10 miles from my house. This was a risky move, but I loved the shows I did and didn't miss the rest! It all worked out. 

Each year, I donate a portion of profits to some of my favorite organizations and 2014 was no exception. For the first time, I decided to align specific products with non-profits. 

The ever-popular sterling silver Wanderlust Earrings (both the original and the new hammered style) raised funds for Hostelling International USA, an organization that made a huge impact on me when I was younger. Founded in 1934, HI promotes international understanding of the world and its people through travel. They currently operate a network of over 50 hostels across the US, each offering a unique, inexpensive, safe and clean experience.

A percentage of profits from the sale of my new running necklaces was donated to Girls on the Run, a transformational physical activity-based youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. The organization teaches life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

My beagle Sandy is my only child, and so naturally I believe beagles are the best dogs ever. Beagles of New England States (B.O.N.E.S.) was founded in 2003 with a mission to rescue, rehome, spay/neuter, and provide necessary medical care to beagles in need in New England. This is an all-volunteer organization doing amazing work every day! I especially love their Sensational Seniors program which helps find loving homes for beagles in need over the age of 10. With your help, Lofted Designs pet tag sales helped fund a generous donation this year!

The remainder of donations went to the Center for Grieving Children, based in Portland, Maine. This wonderful organization provides free bereavement support and crisis response to children, teens, young adults and their families and has been doing so for 27 years. They encourage the safe expression of grief and loss and foster each individual’s resilience and emotional well-being.

Looking Ahead

As we flip the calendar to 2015, I am energized by the concept of a fresh, new start and a clean slate. I've decided to take Lofted Designs in a slightly different direction this year, but more on that in a future blog post (coming soon). 

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